Confirming a firm recovery in industrial production, the core infrastructure sector notched up a growth of six per cent in December 2009 as compared to a paltry 0.7 per cent increase posted for the same month a year ago.

Aided by the better performance, the six key industries — crude oil, petroleum refinery products, coal, electricity, cement and finished steel — having a weight of 26.68 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) witnessed a healthier growth of 4.8 per cent in the first nine months (April-December 2009) of the current fiscal as against 3.2 per cent in the same three quarters of 2008-09.

According to an official statement here, the growth in finished steel and crude oil production returned to positive territory with an increase of 9.6 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively, in December as compared to a contraction of eight per cent and 0.3 per cent during the same month in the previous year.

The cement industry topped the performance chart with a growth of 11 per cent in December 2009, but failed to match the 11.6 per cent output increase witnessed during the same month in 2008.

As for the other three sectors, while electricity generation went up by 5.4 per cent in December 2009 from 1.5 per cent in the previous year, the performance of petroleum refinery products and coal turned sluggish and managed to grow by a mere 0.9 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively as compared to a three per cent and 11.2 per cent output increase achieved in December 2008.

More In: Economy | Business | News | Industry